Everyone’s a winner- How you can benefit from supporting bats.

As much as we all care about conserving bats, our busy lives might mean that sometimes we need a bit of an incentive to motivate us into making a change! Today I’ll be highlighting some of the ways you can benefit from helping protect our bats. If you haven’t already, it may be worth giving last week’s blog a quick read before continuing here to see the different ways you can help make a difference. So, let’s begin!

An easy way to make a big difference is by switching to Light-emitting Diode (LED) lamps in and around your home. These can help you save money in a couple of ways. Firstly, LEDs last much longer than other household lamps, with an average lifetime of 20,000 hours, although some last up to 60,000 hours [1, 2]. Whereas incandescent lamps last around 1,000 hours and halogen 2,000 [2, 3]! This means you’ll have to replace your incandescent bulb 20 times and halogen 10, during the lifetime of one LED bulb!

Photo credit: Arcadia

LEDs are also much more efficient, meaning they use less energy. For example, a 5 watt LED is equivalent to a 40 watt incandescent bulb, and a 7.5 watt LED to a 50 watt halogen bulb, using 87.5% and 85% less energy respectively [2, 4]. Not only is this great for the environment, as switching all bulbs to LEDs in your home can save 63 kg of carbon dioxide a year, but also for your wallet [5]! Over a 20,000-hour lifetime, the replacement and energy costs of one LED bulb is £24.40, whereas incandescent bulbs would cost £153.40 over the same period [2]. This means changing eight lights to LEDs in your home would save you £1,227!

LEDs are also much safer bulbs as they don’t produce heat or break easily meaning replacing them shouldn’t cause issues [1]. Unlike bulbs such as Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs), they don’t contain any harmful materials, such as mercury, making them safer for you and the environment [1]!

Photo credit: Alex Lang

So now you’ve seen the clear economic benefits of using LEDs, how can you benefit from them in relation to bats?

As LEDs don’t emit UV, using them for outdoor lighting won’t attract large amounts of insects to your garden! Although, make sure you use a ‘warm’ lamp (less than 2700 K), as ‘cool’ and blue light can still lead to clusters! As urbanisation is increasing, gardens have become havens for many wildlife, which use them for food and shelter [6]. Reducing light pollution in your garden, as well as planting lots of different flowers, can attract a variety of wildlife! You’ll be helping many native animals thrive but also making your home a much more interesting place. Attracting nocturnal animals to your garden, such as bats and hedgehogs, provides you with free pest control and insect repellent! This is because they eat common plant pests as well as huge amounts of mosquitoes, stopping you from getting bitten!

Hopefully you can see that it’s not just bats benefitting from the changes you’re making. You can save money and make your garden an urban oasis, which supports a variety of native wildlife. Everyone really is a winner!

Next week I’ll be going over some exciting things which have been going on in our campaign!

You can access information on this issue and find out how to help by following Blinded by the Night’s Facebook and Instagram pages. If you have any questions about the campaign or would like to get involved, please contact me via email at Beth2.Gerrard@live.uwe.ac.uk.

How to get involved:

Facebook: Blinded by the Night @blindedbythenightbristol

Instagram: @blindedbythenight_bats

References:

  1. URL: https://www.renewableenergyhub.co.uk/main/led-lighting-information/residential-led-lighting/
  2. URL: https://www.simplyled.co.uk/info/led-savings/
  3. URL: https://usa.flos.com/blog/how-to-choose-led-vs-halogen-lights#:~:text=LED%20bulbs%20can%20use%20as,LED%20bulbs%20are%20generally%20shatterproof.
  4. URL: https://ledhut.co.uk/blogs/news/led-vs-halogen-is-led-or-halogen-better
  5. URL: https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/getting-best-out-your-led-lighting/
  6. URL: https://www.bats.org.uk/advice/gardening-for-bats